Using satellite imaging, The Washington Post uncovered on Thursday that Iran has prepared for what appears to be hundreds or thousands of coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths by digging mass pits for the disposal of the deceased.
The mass burial plots were able to be verified through satellite imaging of the Behesht-e Masoumeh graveyard in Qom, a city where the outbreak originally started in Iran, before spreading 80 miles north to its Capitol, Tehran.
Iran is currently suffering from widespread and sustained spread of coronavirus similar to places such as China, Italy, France, Spain, and Greece.
At first Iranian officials took to belittling the crisis, which has largely been seen as responsible for its vast spread, but changed tunes when the virus began infecting key players and politicians in Tehran.
“Critics say the government was slow to respond to the outbreak because it failed to take it seriously,” the New York Times reported.
According to Iranian officials, the death count is just under 500, with 49 deaths reported on Sunday alone. The Health Ministry also said that the number of infected Iranians is estimated to be just over 10,000.
However, satellite images indicate the Iranians are digging grave pits that are prepared for a substantially larger number of bodies than the Iranian Health Ministry has declared are deceased. This has lead to skepticism of whether the figures provided by the Ministry are accurate, or if they are under-exaggerated.
“Videos, satellite images and other open-source data from the cemetery — a vast complex…. suggest that the number of people struck down by the virus there is significantly higher than the official figure,” the Post reported.
An imagery analyst told The Post that the white blobs that appear on the satellite images can possibly indicate that the Iranians are storing lime, an agent used to mask smells of dead bodies and prevent the attraction of flies and various type scavengers.
According to the Red Cross Relief Items Catalogue, “If deep burial is not possible, first spread quick lime in the pit, then place the corpse and cover it with quick lime (1kg of lime per 10kg of corpse weight).”
The bodies of the COVID-19 victims were placed in black bodybags until they could be prepared for washing and burial, a video posted on social media detailed about the procedures in the Behesht-e Masoumeh cemetery-facility.
Amid public outcry for the lackluster response to the crisis, the Iranian Regime began peddling conspiracy theories about the United States and the “zionist entity.”
According to The Jerusalem Post, Iran has launched the antisemitic and false accusations that the “zionists” are behind the COVID-19 virus, which originated from Wuhan, China, and has spread to more than 100 locations internationally.
“Accusing countries of engineering diseases as a bioweapons is a propaganda tactic countries have resorted to before,” Mother Jones reports.
“During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, Liberia and North Korea accused the U.S. of creating the deadly disease as a bioweapon. In 2013, Chinese officials accused the U.S. of creating the bird flu as, again, a bioweapon, which several Chinese media outlets ran with and amplified.”
As of Friday the World Health Organization, said that there were 132,536 confirmed cases of coronavirus in 123 areas across the globe, with a total of 4,937 deaths.